Comparing indigenous pilgrimages - Devotion, identity, and resistance in Mesoamerica and North America

Miguel Aguilera, Robert Jarvenpa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


This article compares pilgrimage dynamics in two indigenous societies of the Americas: the Yucatec-Maya of Mexico and the Chipewyan of Canada. The same analytical framework is used to interpret the historical origins, social contexts, ceremonial climax, and backstage features of two annual socioreligious gatherings among these people. While their respective pilgrimages exhibit distinctly different approaches to accessing cosmological or sacred power and to resisting the hegemonies of colonial and state institutions, they follow similar paths as vehicles for expressing and renewing native identity. The ethnographic case materials are used to reassess Victor and Edith Turner's theoretical stance in light of other recent pilgrimage studies with divergent views.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-506
Number of pages24
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008



  • Canada
  • Chipewyan
  • Controlled comparison
  • Maya
  • Mexico
  • Pilgrimage dynamics
  • Turnerian paradigm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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